The $20 a week budget

I just wanted to thank everyone in the Relief Society for letting me speak at your meeting last Saturday. I truly enjoyed it and it was wonderful meeting so many of you. Thank you for your kind attention and your great questions, and for filling out the survey, because it really helps me figure out where I should go with this information. I hope I can be of help.

When we did the survey, I asked one really personal question, which is why I wanted it to be anonymous and didn’t want to have any names on the survey. I had asked what your weekly food/stockpile budget was. The answers really varied. One thing I did notice was there were a few that were in the $20-$30 a week range, and those had 2 or more family members that they were feeding with that small amount.

That really struck me because, I’ve been there. About 20 years ago, our little family was going through a real struggle, balancing school and work and a mortgage and everything else, and we had a very meager income. We pretty much could only pay for our bills, and had carved out barely $20 a week that had to cover food, clothing, gas, or any emergencies. That meant, if there was an emergency expenditure, no food that week.

I used to dread secretly when my son would get invited to birthday parties. He was so young, I didn’t want him to be embarrassed if he had a dollar store gift or something cheap, so I knew I would have to buy a regular priced current kid’s toy to give, which would cost $12-$15 dollars, which also meant little or no food that week. Those were scary weeks.

Fear can be either a motivator or a crusher. During the years we had this to deal with, we still found ways to build up our food storage so we could eat in the weeks we had no food money. I had plans in each shopping trip to get a certain amount of storage food with every fresh food purchase. By watching prices, sales, and coupons, we did it every time. I could go to a grocery store with $5 and still get food for the week.

I guess I just wanted to tell you it can be done. It will take you more time and effort, it will be more work on your part, you will have to be sharper with your thinking and planning, and you will not be able to rely on habits or routine. It is easier when you have more money, and harder when you have less money, but it can be done.

You CAN still do this, even on just $20 a week.

If you have any questions, please email me, I would be happy to answer one-on-one if I can help, or if you would prefer your question be public so everyone can see the answer, you can ask it in the comments and I’ll answer it here.

One response to “The $20 a week budget

  1. I wanted to leet you know that my daughter, Carrie and I are working on our food storage. We found potatoes at Aldi’s last week for $1.49 for 10 lbs and have canned 51 quarts of potatoes. We bought turkeys at .59 a lb before thanksgiving and will be canning them next week. Thanks for the motivation we needed to get started. Susan Graves

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